Friday, August 16, 2013

Swan Song

Once upon a time, two years ago, at the crack of dawn, I helped The Audiophile hoist something insanely heavy out of The Listening Room. To be honest, I wasn't amused that morning, but I decided I could either be lemony about his hobby or I could write a blog and peddle it as lemonade.

One hundred posts later, I've been both sweet and sour. Audiophilia has tested my emotions and probably always will. I love it when The Audiophile spends an entire weekend coaxing perfection out of a collection of components, and I hate it when I'm jealous about the degree to which this hobby consumes him sometimes.

In the last two years, I've learned a great deal from the forum comments about this blog. Some audiophiles think I'm hilarious and want to marry me; some think I'm a disrespectful waste of their time; and some think I'm actually an audiophile -- and a male one at that.

As I bring this adventure to a close, I'd simply like to clarify that although I'm not a humorist, I do crack myself up. Although I have the capacity to be disrespectful, it is only by the Grace of God that I am not. And although I'm not a man, it would appear that I am indeed... becoming an audiophile.

And that, my friends, (who have enjoyed this tagline) is audio winning.

Friday, August 9, 2013

One Trick Pony

After writing last week about my substandard test song, I decided I should pick a new one. Since I am not a member of The Audiophile Test Song Coalition, I spied on them through the World Wide Web.

This resulted in a peculiar list of songs that real people would never listen to. Next, I cross-referenced these songs with The Audiophile's personal collection to see if he was a real person. Let's just say there were enough of these titles in his library to confirm he is a figment of my imagination.

In the end, and at the risk of becoming imaginary myself, I selected one of these songs as my very own. It's the kind of song I can play over and over and not get tired of. Plus, it makes me feel kind of coltish, and that always improves the acoustics and my general willingness to participate in the A/B/C/D/E/F/G test.

And that, my friends, is audio winning.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Alphabet Song

During the month of July, The Audiophile officiated more A/B tests than usual. There were two reasons this proved challenging for me:

First, my test song does not conform to The Standards as defined by The Audiophile Test Song Coalition. When I chose this song years ago, I didn't know there were standards. I just thought you picked a song, listened to it, and said some esoteric things about the sound.

Second, I was under the assumption that an A/B test involved an A and then a B. So when he threw in five additional configurations and made it an A/B/C/D/E/F/G test, my head nearly exploded because I don't have a PhD in anything.

Still, I believe I was able to put forth some seemingly intelligent comments about what I was hearing. And really, when you think about it, this is extraordinary given all the ambient background noise that was galloping around the room as a result of my poorly recorded test song.

And that, my friends, is audio winning.

Friday, July 26, 2013

I've Got The Power

The Audiophile was on the phone recently discussing something about something. Out of habit, once I determined it was an audio conversation, I began to tune out.

Tune out, that is, until I heard him shout, "That guy has a HUGE power supply."

Now, I'm not an expert or a pervert, but I'm pretty sure you want to limit that sort of enthusiastic observation to the confines of your private mental library of opinions. Huge or dainty, the size of a guy's power supply is between him and his amplifier, and I think he'd appreciate a little discretion from the viewers at home.

And that, my friends, is audio winning.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I'm Still Standing

Even though I like to count things, it isn't often that I comment on the cost of audiophilia because I view it as somewhat less expensive than the four-season porch I'll be petitioning for in a few years.

That said, I recently saw a transaction go through our account for a pair of speaker stands. Just to clarify, the stands are the things that the speakers sit on. To the laywoman, they are akin to a potholder.

The good news for me was this transaction was a credit to our account meaning The Audiophile had sold these stands to someone else. Hopefully this someone else is married to an understanding wife because once she compares these stands to her tattered oven mitts, things could get a little dicey in the kitchen.

And that, my friends, is audio winning.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Song For Ten

The Audiophile was in his workshop this week building a better sounding mousetrap. This was another of those projects in which I was explicitly instructed not to touch anything because I would immediately die from the current or volts or whatever is was that would rocket my burning flesh straight through the pearly gates earlier than God might have planned.

Since I was not going anywhere near the project of doom, that left me plenty of time to do some counting. It is a well established fact that I like to count things like stairs, money, and flowers on the wall. If the Pilates instructor says we are doing 30 jump squats, you can bet I'm counting them and sorely disappointed to learn her idea of 30 is a lot closer to 50 according to my math and screaming quads.

Which brings me to my point: Yesterday, according to the arithmomaniacs at Google Analytics, this ridiculous blog you've elected to read reached 100,000 all-time views. And the only thing I have to say about that is...

And that, my friends, is audio winning.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Born In The USA

Yesterday was the annual celebration of the United States' independence from some country that we don't really remember anymore because we've spent the last 237 years concentrating on the appearance of our teeth and gums. However, for one day every year, we set aside all our brushing and flossing to blow some stuff up.

Since The Audiophile has been working on a project that could potentially explode his pearly whites and everything attached to them, I asked him what I should do if the amplifier under construction takes his life prematurely. Heaven forbid.

His first concern was our children, house, and vehicles, and his instructions regarding them spanned perhaps forty five seconds. His only other concern involved the disposition of his gear, and although I did not have a stopwatch running, it's safe to say the instructions were lengthy, detailed, and included impressive consideration for his electronic issue.

And that, my friends, is audio winning.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Magic Bus

Once upon a time, three weeks ago, when The Audiophile and I were in San Francisco on that Hop On Hop Off bus tour, there was an incident.

While I was craning to hear all of the fantastic details being imparted to us by the convivial guide, The Audiophile was fidgeting. I didn't think much of this until he leaned over to me and whispered with exasperation, "The negative lead to the speaker is disconnected."

Do you know what happened next? Of course you do, if you are an audiophile. The only logical course of action, if you are an audiophile, is to fix that high performance indoor/outdoor speaker right there in the middle of the tour with your bare hands and wily expertise.

Was he successful? You bet he was, and although the rest of the patrons on the bus failed to applaud him for his efforts, I like to think my dumbfounded expression provided him with all the recognition he needed.

And that, my friends, is audio winning.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Tainted Love

Last week I mentioned my new audio store game in which I look for the prettiest item available for sale. Naturally, while looking for that which is attractive, it is difficult not to notice that which is unattractive, dare I say ugly, even. 

This brings me to a question I've been pondering for years: What's with the handles mounted on the front of stuff? 

Were some people (and by "people" I mean menfolk) sitting around toasting their newly minted products thinking to themselves, "Hmmm, this stuff sounds incredible, what could we do to make it look WAY COOLER?" To which one guy slurred, "HANDLES, MAN, HANDLES." And the rest is obviously history.

Now, I've lifted plenty of gear in my day, and I'm not saying the handles haven't served a purpose, but I believe the moral of this story is that one should never make important aesthetic decisions while under the influence of high fidelity audio.

And that, my friends, is audio winning.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Everything is Beautiful

Given The Audiophile's propensity to seek out audio stores far and wide and my propensity to tag along behind him like a partially potty-trained puppy, I've developed a new game to entertain myself so I don't accidentally chew on a magazine or piddle on the carpet while he fondles the merchandise. The rules of the game are simple: quietly find the prettiest item in the store as defined by me.

The last store was easy. The hands-down winner was a newly released, high-gloss rosewood number from my favorite speaker company. This manufacturer, according to the video on their website, employs mostly women who are allowed to repeatedly touch the speakers (including the drivers) throughout the manufacturing process.

Additionally, they state, "Loudspeakers perform best in rooms with normal furnishings such as bookshelves, flowers, vases, and soft furniture." Perhaps, audiophiles, this helpful tip from The Experts will inspire you to move beyond sound panels and acoustic diffusers as your sole means of aesthetic victory.

And that, my friends, is audio winning.